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2017 Invictus Games torch lit at Presidential Palace

2017 Invictus Games torch lit at Presidential Palace

Aug 10, 2017 - 10:58

KABUL (Pajhwok): The Spirit Flame for the ‘Invictus Games’ involving wounded and disabled armed services’ personnel was lit at the Presidential Palace in Kabul in the presence of President Ashraf Ghani.

The Invictus Games were introduced three years ago by Prince Harry, who twice deployed to Afghanistan as an officer of the British army. The Latin word "Invictus" means unconquered.

It symbolises the way sports can help wounded soldiers overcome trauma suffered in combat. The multi-sports event, having especially adapted rules, includes archery, athletics, indoor rowing, wheelchair basketball, tennis, rugby and power-lifting.

The ceremony was attended by Canadian Ambassador Kenneth Neufeld, NATO-led Resolute Support Commander Gen. Nicholson and the Invictus Games CEO Michael Burns.

Michael Burns said the sports and games were to appreciate the soldiers who laid down their lives for the Afghan people and the rest of the world. He added the torch would be lit in Kabul.

 The Games have been held twice in London in 2014 and in Orlando, Florida, in 2016. More than 550 competitors from 17 countries, including Afghanistan, will take part in the Toronto edition from Sept 23 to Sept. 30.

Ambassador Neufeld said conducting the ‘Invictus Games’ was aimed at remembering and paying tribute to the sacrifices and gallantry of wounded soldiers. “Every citizen of Canada is looking forward to every sportsman...”

President Ghani said: “As we are celebrating this ceremony, we should remember that we have won independence because of sacrifices by thousands of Afghan and foreign soldiers.”

He added the wounded soldiers had fought for the safety of Afghanistan’s future generations and the world. “Unfortunately, we witness injured people every day, but we give them the message of our help and support through these games.”

While addressing the injured soldiers, he said: “You all are an exemplar of courage and hope.” At the end of the ceremony, the Invictus Games’ torch was lit.